It's been an eventful season for Sacramento Kings rookie DeMarcus Cousins, to say the least. He's fought with coach Paul Westphal and struggled at times when he's gotten on the court. The latest issue is that he refused to shake Westphal's hand in the Kings' loss to the Bucks on Thursday night, one game after he was pulled from the starting lineup for giving Dorrell Wright of the Golden State Warriors the choke sign.
Now, the Kings may have finally had enough. According to a report by Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com, the Kings are considering sending Cousins down to the NBA Developmental League.
The possibility is increasing that the Kings will have serious conversations about sending DeMarcus Cousins, the No. 5 pick in June and projected future starting center, to the NBA Development League. Kicking him out of practice hasn't changed his sloppy focus, fining him hasn't improved his attitude and, most recently, pulling him from the opening lineup Thursday against the Bucks for giving a choke sign to the Warriors two nights earlier hasn't nudged him in the right direction. So, some quality time with the Reno Bighorns becomes a growing thought.
"If that's what they feel is best, then I can't do anything about it," Cousins said. "But I don't believe that's happening."
This would certainly be the highest-profile D-League assignment in league history, replacing Hasheem Thabeet and Jonny Flynn. It comes on the heels of Cousins' agent releasing the following statement about his lack of playing time to Fanhouse's Sam Amick.
"I find it a curious decision to bench a productive young player for something that had nothing to do with the game's outcome. I'm sure we all can agree that there are many areas of the Kings that need greater professionalism and improvement right now. I told DeMarcus to take it as an honor that such a significant amount of criticism is focused on his mistakes. Great players live with greater expectations."
The Kings have many issues now, with coach Paul Westphal and general manager Geoff Petrie both on the hot seat. Co-owner Joe Maloof denied both of those reports today.
This would be the second time this season that the D-League will have been used as more of a demotion than for development purposes. The New Jersey Nets assigned Terrence Williams to their D-League affiliate before trading him to the Houston Rockets earlier this month.